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Showing posts from September, 2020

On being alone but together ...

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My father used to tell us that the best day of his life was when they invented the Walkman because from that day on the 4 kids (yes, there were 4 of us) just put on our headphones and bopped away silently in the backseat and through the house instead of talking.  I always found it insulting that he wouldn't enjoy every moment of conversing with his kids.Now I have kids. Now I get it!Well, sort of ...Last year, when my youngest finally moved into the age where he could have a connected device and headphones, I totally got where my dad was coming from.  Suddenly those car trips became peaceful, allowing me to enjoy my retro 80's hair metal without the non-stop complaints.  Allowing me to carry on conversation with my fellow adult passengers without too much self-censoring (my language can get salty when I'm behind the wheel).  Finally after years of catering to the needs of, and conversing with, young kids I was free to generally act like an adult - I had actually forgotten …

On Goldfish and Attention Spans ...

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"He has the attention span of a goldfish!"I've heard this said many times in my life, but until recently I'd never questioned the origins of this saying.  Turns out that, in the eyes of science, fish have very short attention spans - almost to the point of a disorder as made famous by Dory of the Finding Nemo series.The basis for this statement is that a fish can be caught on a hook, fooled by a neon pink worm, endure the trama of being pulled from its watery home, having a metal face piercing forcibly removed by pliers, suffer a near death experience, then be released back into the water only to be caught again by the same baited hook a few minutes later (I didn't check if this could happen a third time, but I'm hoping that even fish can learn!).As I think about this, I realize that this doesn't actually apply to attention span, but to all of memory - we all do it and, quite frankly, the path to success is often equated to the idea of moving on from fail…

On Lockdown, Being Social and Mental Health ...

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The other day was my sons 8th birthday.  In these days of COVID and lockdown, social distancing, masks and general uncertainty, many of the activities that usually interest groups of little boys were not really an option.  Also, group sizes, personal "bubbles" and other virus spread control strategies, meant that our options were limited. In order to celebrate his birthday properly we needed to take a new approach.  A COVID driven birthday strategy.  Essentially all of the various activities were spread out over a week - dinner with family and in-laws, play-dates with his friends and one small group outing (to glow-in-the-dark mini-golf, as you can see in the picture).  Each event had a focused group, and time was spent to discuss the comfort levels of the invitees (and in some cases, their parents) to ensure that everyone's COVID risk management and risk tolerance was properly considered.
What I failed to consider was my own COVID related, isolation driven mental health i…